U.S. Navy (ONR)

The objective of this Office of Naval Research (ONR) Science & Technology (S&T) project was to develop an automated cargo restraint system for the U.S. Navy’s Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) vessel and its planned replacement, the Ship-to-Shore Connector (SSC). The Intra-connector Material Handling (ICMH) system demonstrates reliable operation in NATO Sea State 4 conditions. Shifting cargo and flat tires of wheeled cargo can result in loosened tie-downs, which introduce substantial risks to equipment and crew underway.
Cooper Perkins proposed a concept design in a competitive Phase 1 development effort demonstrating feasibility. The Cooper Perkins concept was selected and was awarded the Phase 2 effort to design and fabricate fully-functional alpha prototypes. The objective was to automate cargo restraint pre-tensioning, self-tensioning, and releasing during load restraining operations. The resulting self-contained system was capable of remote operation, health monitoring, and selective load assignment to permit an “item-by-item” unloading capability. Additionally, the design features remote controlled release of the cargo hooks restraining the vehicles thereby completely eliminating the need for LCAC crew on the deck when landed and discharging vehicles. The device is accessed and controlled wirelessly, features an environmentally sealed, separable battery/drive module, employs state-of-the-art webbing, and is rated for 35,000-pound loads.